One Albuquerque clinic has been testing almost all of its pregnant patients for hepatitis C, according to UNM researchers. That means more people could be cured down the line.
The research team looked at records for 200 women who got prenatal care along with substance abuse treatment in the Milagro Program.
If more health providers in New Mexico would test for Hepatitis C automatically, said Dr. Kimberly Page, one of the study's co-authors, they could diagnose people who otherwise wouldn’t have known they had the disease.
"When people who are already engaged in care, whether they’re in prenatal care, or drug treatment care, or primary care, these are opportunities we want to take advantage of to get them the proper diagnosis," Page said.
The Milagro Program had better hepatitis C testing rates than most areas of the country, but Page wants to see if people are receiving treatment until they’re cured. That phase of the research is expected to start by the end of this year.